>> Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st.more.

>> Are direct services becoming less attractive for shipping lines?. more.

>> What happens to the small ships post Panama Canal expansion?. more.

>> Maersk to acquire Hamburg-Sud and reinforce its presence on the Latin America routes. more.

>>£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports. More.

>> The future of rail freight and private investment. More.

>> The Northern Freight and Logistics report. More. 

>> Oxford Cambridge Expressway Study. More.

>> The potential impact of Brexit on trade. More.

>> India - the impact of shipping lines’ consolidation and the cabotage rule change. More.

>> Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions. more.

>> 'India: The only way is up' say MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> Hanjin’s collapse - A wake-up call to the industry? More.

>> Peak season 2016: could the seemingly more rational shipping lines restore stability to the market?. More.

>> Panama Canal Expansion: the major announcements so far have been made by the CKYHE Alliance and G6 Alliance: each have indicated the upsizing of some of their vessels on the services passing through the Panama Canal as shown in MDS Transmodal's analysis. More.

>> CMA-CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Cosco’s merger with China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), prompted the need for a few changes in the current capacity-sharing agreements amongst the shipping lines. More.

>> MDST has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN), in partnership with York Aviation and Regeneris Consulting, to carry out a review of international passenger connectivity in the North of England. More.

>> Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDST, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016. More.

>> With 22 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of around 250% in the capacity of container shipping passing through its ports in spring 2016, as shipping lines seek to benefit from the removal of sanctions. More.

>> MDST Chairman, Mike Garratt, wrote to the editor of RAIL magazine in March about the future of rail freight in Great Britain. More.

>> MDST has examined the evidence for Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel on the global and UK markets using its World Cargo Database, which allows it to monitor world trade by both volume and value and for detailed commodities. More.

>> East Asia export box trade sees growth of 1.7% in 2015, says MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network. More.

>> Ports should be at the centre of distribution chains says MDST. More.

>> Based on its analysis of Eurostat port statistics and its own World Cargo Database, MDS Transmodal has concluded that ports handled 640 million tonnes in 2014, a market share of 40%. More.

Search Our Website


Road Freight Forecasts 2015

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network.  The road traffic forecasts are designed to provide a national view of possible future trends in road traffic and are used by the Uk Government to analyse the implications of a variety of strategic level policy options on traffic levels, emissions and congestion.

HGV demand forecasts were derived by the DfT from GBFM, which is a multi stage behavioural choice model which was developed, and is owned, by MDS Transmodal and can therefore be used to test a wide variety of scenarios for other clients as well by the UK government at a national level.  For the DfT’s road freight forecasts to 2040, base year data was taken from domestic and international freight movements for a range of commodities. These freight movements were then grown based on forecasts of manufacturing growth for each of the commodities and the cost of moving goods using HGVs.  The forecast freight traffic was then assigned to the road and rail modes using generalised cost models and assigned to different parts of the road network in accordance with achieving the shortest journey times between the origins and destinations.  The resulting HGV growth rates on different road and area types and regions are then passed into the National Transport Model enabling the model to estimate levels of congestion and emissions.

As there is inherent uncertainty in relation to some trends and relationships used to explain trends in traffic (such as economic and demographic inputs) the DfT chose to adopt an approach that enables them to model the impact of a range of risks to the forecasts rather than, in theory, to produce a central forecast.  This scenario-based approach led to the development of five different scenarios, with growth rates for HGVs and total traffic as shown in the table below.

HGV road traffic forecasts 2010-40 (Source:  UK Department for Transport, March 2015)


Income growth per annum

HGV traffic growth 2010-40

Total traffic growth

Scenario 1




Scenario 2




Scenario 3




Scenario 4




Scenario 5




HGV forecasts were assumed by the DfT to vary mainly according to GDP growth and therefore the overall level of economic activity, while taking into account some potential for modal switch to rail.  While the results of the forecast scenarios vary considerably, from 1% growth in Scenario 4 to 58% growth in Scenario 5, the DfT appears to believe that the most likely scenario is for HGV traffic growth of 22% over the 30 year period.